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Majestic12

UO: How To Take Hostile Buildings

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Best to treat enemy held buildings like landmines:

If you can go round it, go round it.
If you can't go round it... blow it up before you go near it.
If you can't blow it up... shoot the crap out of it in the hope that you'll hit something important that stops it going off.

Clearing the building is the equivalent of stepping on the landmine- don't do it unless you literally have no other choice.

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2 hours ago, Hapless said:

Best to treat enemy held buildings like landmines:

If you can go round it, go round it.
If you can't go round it... blow it up before you go near it.
If you can't blow it up... shoot the crap out of it in the hope that you'll hit something important that stops it going off.

Clearing the building is the equivalent of stepping on the landmine- don't do it unless you literally have no other choice.

Completely agree with this. The best way by far to clear a building is to blow it up. 

2 hours ago, Majestic12 said:

But in the Canadian campaign, you have to go into  these urban sectors and not destroy a thing or be penalized

Rules of Engagement (ROE) change the tactics, techniques and procedures you are able to employ. Good ROE are designed to maximize a soldiers tactical flexibility in a given environment. Unfortunately, many ROE end up hurting the soldiers forced to work under their restrictive guidelines. Combat Mission accurately portrays this. In the mission you are describing, you have to modify your tactics given the restrictive ROE you must operate under. I wrote this post a while ago, which details one of the ways I try to take down a building if forced to manually clear it, though there are many other good points in the thread as well:

 

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A small suggestion. If you're entering a suspicious building don't wait til you spot the enemy to start firing. 'Area fire' into the building as you're assaulting. If you can get the enemy's suppression meter to spike even a little their reaction times will drop. Also, its all about local fire superiority. You may get the drop on the enemy with your assault but if its three of you against six of them your advantages go out the window. Especially in a modern war title with the enemy AK set on full auto while the CMSF2 M4A1 carbine only has 3 round burst capability.

I hear rumors that 'max assault' doesn't do what most of us think it does. It doesn't speed up the assault but slows it down because the men are liable to stop and shoot it out with the first enemy they see. I'm not too firm about that, though. I've always been a bit allergic to the 'max assault' command so don't use it much. Maybe someone else here uses it all the time  :mellow:

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The advice in "Assaulting a building, fierce and agile" is very suspect. It'll work if everything is in your favour, but it won't often be in practice, and I wouldn't want to roll an *Abrams* up that close to an occupied building, let alone paper-thin Strykers.

 

As I pointed out in the "Breaking the Bank" thread, the actual assault is something which is easy to get hung up on, in the game or reality. It's actually the least important part of the whole business.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/call/call_01-9_karagosian.htm

The point is that controlling the area around the building, and especially your route to the building, is what's important, not the room clearing.

 

The actual building assault (if you do one, and you probably want to avoid this as much as possible) should be the easy part - if you've controlled the building to the extent that the occupants are heavily suppressed, and all the necessary routes to and from the building are safely covered, then the actual order doesn't matter that much - just be advised that *any* close-quarters combat is massive risk - the squad may be suppressed, but a single chap with an AK can still mess up your squad if given the chance.

 

So: 

 

"What move orders is most effective at clearing hostile buildings with minimal casualties?"
 

  1. If you can avoid clearing a building, do. Flatten it, ignore it, isolate it, anything but go in.
  2. If you must, make sure you have overwhelming firepower on both the building, the routes from the building (you need to stop reinforcement or the enemy leaving), and especially your intended route to the building. Being caught in the street is a death sentence.
  3. If you are forced to assault a building (usually for tempo reasons), and you have control of the environment to as much as you can, then the first thing you'll do is to split into fireteams to minimise risk. 

    Assault isn't really intended for this task, since the Assault command will leave half of the squad in the street, and if the first half runs into an ambush, the second half will charge in after them, and also get killed. You can use it effectively, with control of the surroundings, if you also set a target order on the building - the stationary half of the squad will area-fire into the building, whilst the moving half moves in. Ideally though, you'd have more firepower than that, because one fireteam is probably not enough.

    Fast will cross the open space to the building faster - but then you should already be confident about that. They'll usually take longer to react to any surprises in the building or behind the building though.

    Quick will be the same, but less so - Quick is probably better than fast if you're not 100% certain of the road safety.

    Move will give them more situational awareness, but will leave them dead in the street if anything goes off. If you get shot in the crossing, they'll change this to Quick and bundle into the building.

    Hunt will stop them on contact. That can be deadly if they are stopped in the street unexpectedly by a hidden sniper or something.

 

So - for the actual assault, if you're in an imperfect situation where you're forced into doing this, then the answers will depend on context, and what you're deficient in.

If you do not have sufficient firepower to suppress the target building, I'd use an Assault/Target command. This is probably a terrible idea, but it'll give you something. I think I'd usually rather just do this manually (split the squads, have one area-fire whilst the other Quick or Fast moves) in this scenario, since you need to be really careful with your placement.

If you are not 100% in control of the street, then I'd Quick move into the building, and accept that I've a high chance of losing people on contact.

If you are in control of the street, can suppress the building and control the environment, I'd Move across to the target in fireteams, taking as much time as I can. 

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If you are going to be penalized for damaging the building, then, set up several fire support position from other buildings to over watch the target building. Sending a small team to stir up the hornets' nest , cover their approaching by smoke. When get into the building , the ideal situation is your team arear fire every floor . Toss some grenade, spray one box of LMG ammo then move in.  Another tip is you can ask your fire support team target light to make the enemy return fire and reveal their position, target light won't damage the building too much.   

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On 4/10/2019 at 7:06 AM, MikeyD said:

I hear rumors that 'max assault' doesn't do what most of us think it does. It doesn't speed up the assault but slows it down because the men are liable to stop and shoot it out with the first enemy they see. I'm not too firm about that, though. I've always been a bit allergic to the 'max assault' command so don't use it much. Maybe someone else here uses it all the time  :mellow:

"Max Assault" is an AI command, of course, not something you use in-game.

However, yes. This illustration is from Real and Simulated Wars:

Orders-in-Combat-Mission.jpg

http://rswars.com/combat-missions-tactical-ai/

 

So "Max Assault" is a movement order which prioritises firing. Total priority would be doing nothing (or waiting), but this is still an order where you're expecting the AI to move, but they will keep as many of it's elements stationary as possible, and stop to fire whenever they see a target.

This means that your default AI order should probably be "Advance", unless you're expecting contact (to the left) or not expecting contact (to the right).


The player orders are similar, but these orders are the mid-level Tac AI, since they govern the behaviour of the group as a whole (e.g., Platoon, or whatever you've assigned to this AI group).

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Does collateral damage even matter all that much? If you destroy so much of the enemy  that it forces them to surrender completely, you still get a Total Victory even if you destroyed some of the buildings you weren't supposed to, right? At least that's what happened in the most recent scenario I played. I wasn't supposed to blow up the civilian houses on that map, yet I blew up some of them anyway, and I still got a Total Victory just by wiping out the enemy and forcing a surrender. The points I lost from blowing up buildings didn't really make much difference.

That's my rule when playing these games. When in doubt, blow everything up.

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Whether it matters will depend entirely on what the victory conditions are set to - you could absolutely make a scenario that punished building destruction heavily. The extent to which it matters also may not be clear from the briefings, so you may need to err on the side of caution.

Now, in practice, for a lot of scenario, you're not wrong - balancing objectives is hard, and especially in CMSF, where the sides are so asymmetric.

A lot of user scenarios tend to be more restrictive than official ones - penalising blue losses or building destruction more significantly.

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So is it possible to lose a scenario even if you force the enemy to surrender completely, just by blowing up too many buildings? I thought that if one side surrendered, they automatically forfeit all objectives. Even if I take massive losses, I've still always gotten Total Victories if I've forced the AI to surrender. In a more evenly-matched battle of course (or if the timer runs out), losing points from collateral damage might be enough to tip the scale away from you, so it's good to be careful. Like you said though, it's hard to balance things in CMSF. It's usually not even a question of whether the Blue force loses or not. It's just a matter of how many losses the Blue force takes before wiping the Red force out completely and forcing a surrender.

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If the scenario has been set to that, sure.

You're at the behest of the designer in terms of creating interesting, fair or balanced objectives, but if the conditions were set to something extreme, you'll get extreme results. I've certainly played at least one user scenario where losing a single man (it was a platoon-level scenario) would result in a minor loss for the US.

Balance is hard, but you could certainly imagine situations where a building destruction was heavily penalised - perhaps the aim of the mission was a hostage rescue, set up as a hidden objective in a particular building. You have to search through a small town for the correct building, and if the building was flattened, so are the hostages.

That could be modelled as a hidden "touch" objective for the action spot the building is on, to represent the hostage rescue, but also a Preserve objective on the building itself, with heavy penalties. You'd need an arbitrary bonus to the other side as well to counter this Preserve VP, but it could be set up such that  the end result would be that you'd lose the mission if you destroyed this building.

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On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 7:06 AM, MikeyD said:

I hear rumors that 'max assault' doesn't do what most of us think it does. It doesn't speed up the assault but slows it down because the men are liable to stop and shoot it out with the first enemy they see.

That's my general understanding, supported my limited testing of that mode in CM:A.....The units in question appear to dig in and slug it out, not moving until they have eliminated any opposition.

On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 7:06 AM, MikeyD said:

 I've always been a bit allergic to the 'max assault' command so don't use it much.

I'm wary of it too, hence the limited testing and only in CM:A.

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I just did a quick test: Red has only a bonus objective worth 100 points Blue has only a preserve objective on a two story building for 100 points. If Red surrenders right away the game is a 100 - 100 draw. Surrendering does not forfeit your bonus points. If Blue does serious damage to the building (wrecked the roof and top floor) and red surrenders it is a 0 - 100 red win. Surrendering does not protect Blue from damaging its preserve objectives.

So if you want the points for a preserve objective blowing it up will never work no matter what the enemy does.

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You do not need to reduce the entire building to rubble, just deliver an effective eviction notice to the residents.

On 4/9/2019 at 5:27 PM, Majestic12 said:

What move orders is most effective at clearing hostile buildings with minimal casualties?

BLAST

xD

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, IanL said:

I just did a quick test: Red has only a bonus objective worth 100 points Blue has only a preserve objective on a two story building for 100 points. If Red surrenders right away the game is a 100 - 100 draw. Surrendering does not forfeit your bonus points. If Blue does serious damage to the building (wrecked the roof and top floor) and red surrenders it is a 0 - 100 red win. Surrendering does not protect Blue from damaging its preserve objectives.

So if you want the points for a preserve objective blowing it up will never work no matter what the enemy does.

Yup, so in the hypothetical "Hostage Rescue" scenario above you'd need to make it something like:

Blue - 100 point touch objective
Blue - 100 point preserve objective
Red - 100 bonus points
Red - 100 point hold objective

Immediate Red surrender would give you:
Blue -  200
Red - 100

Immediate Blue surrender would give you:
Blue -  100
Red - 200

Blue completing the mission successfully would give you:
Blue - 200
Red - 100

Blue completing the mission but damaging the building would give you:
Blue - 100
Red - 100

Edited by domfluff

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19 minutes ago, domfluff said:

Immediate Blue surrender would give you:
Blue -  100
Red - 200

I was wondering about this variant so I had a try. No, Preserve means you have to occupy it (or your opponent surrender it) and not damage it.

So, in your hypothetical, an immediate Blue surrender would give you:

Bule - 0

Red - 200

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